PUDUCHERRY: Sparked by the success of BJP in four state Assembly elections, the party in Puducherry has decided to go alone in the ensuing local body elections, without its NDA allies the AINRC and AIADMK.
This decision was taken at the party’s core committee meeting on Saturday in which the national general secretary of Bharatiya Janata Party B L Santhosh and the party’s in charge Nirmal Kumar Surana participated along with local Puducherry leaders.
The decision to contest the local body election alone on its own strength was taken based on the opinion expressed by the local leaders in this regard, Nirmal Kumar Surana told TNIE. The elections are expected in one or two months and hence the decision has been taken in preparation for the polls.
The party with its ally All India NR Congress (AINRC) in NDA is in power in Puducherry and it had contested the last assembly election together with AINRC and AIADMK. Now a year later, the BJP has decided to go it alone in all the seats instead of playing second fiddle to AINRC in the NDA alliance.
For some time now, there is simmering differences between the two parties with BJP unhappy with Chief minister N Rangasamy for taking ‘unilateral decisions’ without consulting the party, sources said. Rangasamy has also not called on Prime Minister after he assumed charge as Chief minister which has added to heartburns. There were issues in seat-sharing when the local body elections were announced earlier, but subsequently, the election notifications were withdrawn on High court orders.
Now the party’s success in four states of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarkhand, Goa, and Manipur have emboldened the party giving it the confidence to go it alone. “There is a wave in favour of BJP now and we want to capitalize on it”, said Surana, adding that already the country is heading towards Congress mukth Bharat and so is Puducherry(which had been a Congress bastion), he said.
“A lot of enthusiasm has been generated among the people towards the BJP. Several upcoming leaders from the alliance parties as well as opposition parties have been approaching us to join the party”, said Surana. The party’s performance in the last Assembly elections in Puducherry by winning six out of nine seats it contested has also brought credibility to the party, said Surana. At present BJP’s electoral strength in the Assembly is 33 percent ( Six plus three independents supporting the party), he said.
Now the party wants to expand its base further at the grassroots level, Surana noted. Already the party has developed a lot in the last one year. It has its presence in 70 percent of the booth committees. Contesting the local body elections alone in Tamilnadu has helped increase the party’s base to seven percent from three percent earlier. In Puducherry, the party hopes to do very well to score around 40 percent and gain a foothold in the UT, Surana added.